There sure are a lot of names floating around waiver wire talk this week. Understandably as the carnage experienced Week 12 only worsened Week 13. Desperate situations lead to desperate decisions and owners everywhere are finding themselves lost in this mess. So, what is the remedy that ails you?
Nothing. None of these guys being talked about are going to help you. They’re fool’s gold; all of them. They’re going to trick you into doing something you will later regret. In the interest of transparency and thoroughness I’ll go through all of them, but ultimately the answer to your question is (probably) already on your roster.
Jaylen Samuels , RB, Pittsburgh
Yes, if a running back has tight end eligibility then you want a part of that. You don’t need me to tell you that though. If he doesn’t have tight end eligibility? He’s an unknown, stuck in the dreaded hot-hand situation. You’ve probably seen me write “show-me” week’s before and this is the sort of situation I’m referring to. Samuels needs a show-me week before you consider deploying him and if it goes well, then he gets the Patriots and Saints next. You’re not going to want to start him in either of those games even if James Conner is still out due to injury.
Jeffrey Wilson, RB, San Francisco
Like Pittsburgh and James Conner, we already know the starting running back (Matt Breida) is out this week. Like that same Steelers situation the starter being ruled out so early in the week is an indication this could be a multi-week absence. But unlike the Samuels situation you don’t need a show-me week out of Wilson; he already did last week. So why aren’t you starting him? Inexplicably Seattle dismantled San Francisco but somehow got out snapped 74-49. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan has done some magician work with this offense, but that isn’t going to happen again. There’s one way Wilson provides value and that’s via the passing game. That’s certainly in-play as the 49ers should play from behind in each of their final three games, but does it make him a more desirable start than Sony Michel, Marlon Mack, Chris Carson, Mark Ingram, Dalvin Cook, etc? No.
Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo
Yes, he’s the highest scoring quarterback in the game over the last two weeks. Has he played more than just those two games? Also, yes. The New York jets defense may be terrible, but so is the Bills offense. In Allen’s seven starts he has net under 100 passing yards twice, under 200 yards five times, topping out at 245 yards in his best performance this year. He has more interceptions than touchdowns and has earned every bit of his 52% completion percentage. His highlight reel seamlessly flows from jaw dropping “How did he do that??!?!” to Benny Hill shenanigans before finishing your sentence. He’s just as likely to improvise his way into 6 points the other way as he is 6 his own way and there’s no predicting what will happen in advance. This is not a new development for Allen; this is just who he is. So how has he done what he’s done the last two weeks? It was his first treks over 40 yards on the ground this season. There’s no dismissing his upside; it’s clearly out there. All I ask is you understand the downside before getting cute with him in your lineup.
Miscellaneous Green Bay Pass Catcher Not Named Davante Adams
We’ve all been chasing this mythical creature all season long and it’s beyond time to admit that he just does not exist. And, no, Mike McCarthy’s ousting after Sunday’s embarrassing loss to the Cardinals does not change that. This isn’t like the Cleveland situation with Baker Mayfield from October; Aaron Rodgers is not going to suddenly morph into something we haven’t seen so far this season. The Rodgers-McCarthy marriage needed to end, but it’s going to take an off season to heal. Besides, his replacement Joe Philbin, has had his hands all over this offense since he arrived. Sure, players have on occasion produced quality games, but there’s not been any predictive value; it’s been reactive. That reaction has caused owners to plug poor performers into their lineup after a quality game, only to net nothing but a pool of disappointment when they actually use them. Let someone else in your playoffs chase these ghosts.
The list goes on, but it’s all more of the same. Low probability, canyon-like floor Hail-Mary’s. Since you’ve built your depth as the season has progressed you don’t need to go down any of these wells, so don’t be tempted with them. If multiple dominoes knocked you over at once then so be it – take your shots with Justin Jackson or Curtis Samuel this week. Otherwise, play the players that brought you here. Sure, you probably have a weak link somewhere in your lineup, but if he was a core player for you in September then their team is still looking to get them going too. Look no further than Jarvis Landry (9 targets, 6 catches, 103 yards) and Golden Tate (7 targets, 7 catches, 85 yards, touchdown) just this past weekend. Have they frustrated owners all season? Absolutely, just as they have their own teams; those teams know they need those guys though. They will keep feeding them because they know they have to get those players going if the team is going to be successful. The same can’t be said for the dredge that’s on the waiver wire this week. So do as those teams will do and start your guys.
This Week’s Flavor of the Week is: 3 am take-out tacos.
Sure, it sounds like a great idea at the time, but the next day isn’t going to be a good thing for you.